It's officially time to embrace a Christmas manicure. A manicure minimalist? If anything's going to convince you that a festive manicure is worth the faff it's this lot of at-home nail art inspiration. Think gold French manicures, lashings of glitter and even a winter forest scene (no, really). It's the time of year when even the most conservative nail polishers get a hankering to swap their sheer nude go-to for something with a little more pizzazz. Here to tell us how to master the art of a Christmas manicure at home is the founder of London-based nail salon AMA, Ama Quashie.
The Best Christmas Nail Colours
‘For me, a nail polish with a metallic finish makes for the ultimate Christmas nail because it’s so versatile,’ explains Quashie, ‘it can be anything from a purposefully kitsch metallic red, to a subtle frosted silver, or my favorite – an expensive 70’s-esque chocolate brown.’ And even the most novice nail-painter can get the look, just apply two coats of your chosen metallic nail polish and finish with a top coat. We love Kure Bazaar in Or Rose and Or Bronze, £15 each.
The Best Christmas Red Polishes For Your Nails
Rich plum and shocking scarlet shades scream Christmas according to Quashie. ‘When it comes to deep shades, precision is key,’ states Quashie, ‘you want to make sure the colour doesn’t bleed onto the cuticle and is perfectly applied.’ For this, try painting two or three thin, even coats to build the colour up slowly.
Top tip? 'Paint a nail shape onto the nail rather than filling the entire nail bed with colour and leave a slight gap around the cuticle.’ If you have a tendency to colour outside the line dip a clean concealer brush in acetone and sweep away the unwanted varnish.
How To Handle Glitter Nail Polishes
With over 10 million hashtags on Instagram, the #glitternails trend is as strong as it ever was, and the glitter manicures are getting more and more creative. Take the glitter ombre technique, for example, which involves a dusting of sparkle that fades down a nude or bright base, or the glitter tips that offer a fun twist on the classic French manicure.
But, just how easy is it to recreate? 'Glitter ombre is a lot easier to create at home than most people would assume’, Quashie reassures us, ‘tool wise, you’ll need a base coat, a top coat, three glitter polishes, and a sponge.’ First step? ‘Prep the nails with a base coat, then dip your sponge in the palest glitter and cover the entire nail.’ Next ‘use a slightly darker or brighter glitter and repeat the process starting from the middle of your nail and working down to the tip. Finish with the darkest and most dense glitter and sponge that onto the tips of your nails.’ Always use a top coat at the end for a high-shine, glossy finish.
Christmas Nail Art Stickers And Transfers
If you need a quick Christmas nail fix, look no further than nail art stickers and transfers. ‘The key to having natural looking stick-ons is getting the sizing right,’ says Quashie, ‘measure up each sticker against your own nail to ensure it fits.’ For oval shaped nails, try Kiss Active Oval Nails, £7.99, or if you prefer an almond or stiletto shape go for Elegant Touch, from £4.99.
Shop the polishes you need to achieve the looks here...
The Best Festive Nail Polishes 2019
A rose gold, glossy polish with a metallic sheen looks perennially chic.
For a minimalist, low-key nail art look try this sheer star polish atop the nude base for a touch of sparkle.
Make a statement with a bold black nail that has a high-shine, patented finish.
This vibrant, rich red packs a powerful punch making it the perfect choice for party season.
Two coats of this chunky silver glitter polish will definitely dazzle.
Christmas Nail Art Ideas
To take the fun factor up a level, why not go for some festive nail art ? From glitter and stars to gingerbread men and snow-laden trees, we’ve rounded up the best Christmas nail inspiration to scroll through now:
We're head over heels for this festive take on a polka dot design. All you need are two shades of red polish and you're away! We can thank @amyle.nails on Instagram for this inspiration.
Candy cane nails are a Christmas classic for a reason. @astrowifey
Red glitter? We're on board. We're in love with this festive nail look from Instagram's @imarninails.
For a subtle nod to festivities why not try not this blush pink snowflake design? Pinterest
This gold leaf take on a French mani is one gorgeous festive nail offering from Instagram's @harrietwestmoreland.
Driving home for Christmas nail art nails courtesy of @overglowedit on Instagram!
Nothing screams Christmas more than Santa Claus red. @wahnails
Simple yet highly effective, if you have a pot of star shaped glitter to hand get cracking with this beautiful look courtesty of Instagram's @amyle.nails.
And Instagram's @amyle.nails has done it again with this beautiful take on Christmas nail art.
Did we mention we love glitter? Check out the iridescent sparkle from Instagram's @imarninails' latest look.
@amyle.nails of Instagram never disappoints when it comes to intricate nail art.
Technically this nail look created by @imarninails is a bridal nai look, but it's gold, so works for Christmas right?!
How incredible is this Christmas tree nail art by Instagram's @laurabeare_beauty?
Another golden French manicure that had us at hello from Instagram's @nailsbymh.
A subtle sparly look that we want to try immediately courtesy of Instagram's @polishedbylolo.